2 min read

Steeping Guide

Steeping Guide
Buds and leaves in a gaiwan.

Steeping Guide For Teas

“湯者,茶之司命。” - 蘇廙,唐
Boiling water is the arbiter of a tea’s destiny. - Sū Yì | Tang dynasty


  1. First and foremost, we cannot stress enough the importance of using good water. The taste of tea comes only from two things, leaves and water. Choose a water that is good to drink on its own. Most teas taste better with soft rather than hard water. We recommend using spring water, either fresh or bottled.
  2. There are many methods and schools of thought when it comes to brewing tea. We use an intuitive approach, which focuses on getting to know a tea through time and experience, rather than a scientific approach of following precise brewing parameters. Water temperature can be measured by feeling the steam under one’s palm rather than a thermometer. Amount of tea leaf can be measured by looking at the space it fills up in your brewing vessel rather than a scale.
Pouring tea from a porcelain gaiwan into a glass gongdaobei.

Note on temperature

We generally use only 1-2 approximate temperatures for brewing hot tea:

  1. Very hot (~96-100 C) 🔥🔥🔥 We use this temperature for nearly all of our teas. Depending on the tea, we will make a slight adjustment to leave the lid on or off the teapot or gaiwan, for either more or less heat retention.
  2. Hot (~80-90 C) 🔥🔥 We use this temperature only for green tea.

Hot tea is our favorite, but as alternatives, we also recommend:

  1. Ambient (room temperature) brewing: Simply add the tea leaves to your water bottle. Use ~3 g of tea leaves per 500 mL water. Steep to taste (2-12 hours).
  2. Cold brewing: Use 4-5 g of tea leaves per 500 mL water. Steep in the refrigerator to taste (6-36 hours).

Note on how much tea to use:

Most of our teas are screened via gongfu style brewing using a high leaf to water ratio and short steep times, which selects for complexity and endurance. We recommend, loosely:

  • 3-7 g of tea per 100 mL gaiwan or small teapot for gongfu style
  • ~3 g of tea per mug for "bottomless mug" or large
  • ~3 g of tea per cup of water for Western teapot style

Again, we encourage exploration and getting to know a tea over time, so please take our guidelines as only a starting place. Happy brewing!